SAINT PAUL, MN— Today, the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget announced the November budget forecast, projecting a deficit of $188 million for fiscal year 2018-2019. The budget deficit grows to $302 million when other ongoing obligations are taken into consideration.
The Office of Management and Budget called the November forecast a “reality check” and noted that the deficit is projected to grow over the next several years to $586 million annually in fiscal year 2020-2021.
State Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL – Crystal, New Hope, Plymouth), DFL lead on the Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee, said legislators should be cautious as they calculate the many economic risk factors that must be weighed against the information in the November budget forecast.
“This projected deficit is a concern, but the good news is that many indicators of economic health continue to be strong in Minnesota. The November budget forecast is historically a benchmark that gives us several indicators, but we will know the health of our budget and economy with more certainty when we receive the February budget forecast,” said Rep. Carlson. “We also don’t know how several factors at the state and federal level will impact the budget in 2018 – the federal tax bill currently being debated, and the lack of Children’s Health Insurance Program funds from the federal level among them.”
Going into the 2017 session, Minnesota had a $1.6 billion budget surplus. The Republican budget passed in 2017 turned that surplus into a deficit, due in part to tax cuts for corporations like big tobacco.
Rep. Carlson urged lawmakers to be cautious as we head toward the next legislative session, with uncertainty regarding federal tax impacts on Minnesota families. Preparing for the 2018 legislative session, convening on February 20, 2018, he said the best path for Minnesota is one that ensures economic stability for families now and in the future.
Rep. Carlson encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Rep. Carlson can be reached by phone at 651-296-4255 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .